A two-time winner of an interpretation prize at the International Stockhausen Concerts and Courses (Kürten, Germany), American soprano Christie Finn is dynamically involved in the world of contemporary performance and new music theater. In recent seasons, Finn has performed as a soloist with the Asko | Schönberg Ensemble (Netherlands), VocaalLAB (Amsterdam, Netherlands), Haarlem Opera Theater (Netherlands), the Hezarfen Ensemble (Istanbul, Turkey), and several ensembles in New York City, including ekmeles, the S.E.M. Ensemble, Experiments in Opera, and Tactus. Performance highlights from the past year include Sofia Gubaidulina’s Homage à T. S. Eliot at the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ (Amsterdam) with the Asko | Schönberg Ensemble, a concert of premieres in Chicago with her experimental music duo NOISE-BRIDGE, Luciano Berio’s sequenza iii for the opening of a new art exhibit at the Landesmuseum Niederösterreich (Austria), Unsuk Chin’s Akrostichon-Wortspiel with the György Ligeti Academy as part of the Muziekzomer Festival Gelderland 2012 (Netherlands), the U.S. premiere of Luigi Nono’s Quando Stanno Morendo (Soprano II) with ekmeles, and several experimental music theater productions with the Studio für Stimmkunst und Neues Musiktheater in in Stuttgart (Germany). Recent music theater productions outside of Stuttgart include Jason Cady’s comic book/sitcom opera Happiness is the Problem with Experiments in Opera in Brooklyn, Georges Aperghis’ Sextuor: L’origine des Espèces (New York premiere), and VocaalLAB‘s 2011 production of MonteverdISH (cover).
Other performance highlights abroad have include a solo recital in the Netherlands entitled “We, the Hearts,” concerts with VocaalLAB in the Gaudeamus Festival (Utrecht, The Netherlands) and at Orgelpark (Amsterdam) and the concert From the Grammar of Dreams with the Istanbul-based Hezarfen Ensemble in the 39th Istanbul Music Festival, singing works of Kaija Saariaho and Michael Ellison at Santral Istanbul’s Museum of Energy. In America, Finn sang in the world premiere of Christopher Cerrone’s opera Invisible Cities at Columbia University’s Italian Academy. Of her performance of Betsy Jolas’ Quartet No. 2 with the Tactus Ensemble, the New York Times praised her “lovely account of this complicated score” and how she “surrendered to the music’s florid impulses.”
Finn is a founder and member of the experimental music duo NOISE-BRIDGE, collaborating with clarinetist Felix Behringer, as well as the trio Synchronous (cello, piano, and soprano trio). Finn has sung as an active member of the New York City-based vocal ensemble ekmeles since the group’s founding concert in September 2010. Finn made her recording debut with the release of the album The Year Begins To Be Ripe (Sonic Arts Editions) in works of John Cage and Stuart Saunders Smith. She has performed Lieder recitals in Austria, operatic works in Italy, and contemporary works by southwestern American composers with the Voices of Change Ensemble of Dallas, Texas. Opera roles include Chabris (Scarlatti’s Giuditta), Mrs. Jenks (The Tender Land) and Belinda (Dido and Aeneas).
Finn is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music’s Contemporary Performance Program, where she studied with Lucy Shelton. Finn also holds a Master of Music in Voice from Southern Methodist University (Dallas, Texas), where she studied with Joan Heller, and a Bachelor of Arts in Music with a minor in Modern Languages & Linguistics from UMBC (University of Maryland Baltimore County).
In addition to her career as a professional singer, Finn is also an active poet. Composer Matt Aelmore set her poetry in the five-movement Pierrot Opera, and she collaborated with Chicago-based composer Christopher Fisher-Lochhead on his piece Tandem, written for NOISE-BRIDGE. For more information about Finn’s projects in music and poetry, please visit Passion-Flowers. For her rants about music, poetry, and aesthetics, please visit her blog: The Single Artificer.
Since 2009, Finn has worked for The Hampsong Foundation, initially serving as the Manager of Online Resources and Head of Research for both the Song of America database and The Hampsong Foundation website. She has consulted on several projects with the Foundation, including the Song of America radio series, syndicated through WFMT Chicago. For the series, Finn wrote two episodes (“There is No Gender in Music” and “Emily Dickinson: Letter to the World“) and served as a Research Consultant for the entire series. She currently holds the position of Managing Director of the Hampsong Foundation.
(Last update: 26 April 2013)